Bjarne Riis believes that Alberto Contador is innocent of doping, but is starting to worry. He fears that political machinations may result in the case ending badly, and that he will be left without a star rider for Team Saxo Bank-SunGard for the coming season.
“I've just met with Alberto Contador and I have no reason not to believe in him,” Riis told the Danish website DR.DK.
But the Dane knows that isn't enough. “I am afraid that it will end up as a political game - and I hope it does not. It would be extremely unfortunate for all parties,"said Riis.
Riis had signed the three-time Tour de France winner to ride for him the next two years. His previous captains, Andy and Fränk Schleck and Fabian Cancellara, are all leaving his team. If Contador is suspended, or otherwise not able to fulfill his contract, Riis will be in a difficult position.
“I'm close to having made up my team,'” he said. “But it is still very open. It depends so much on who is coming.”
Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol on the second rest day of this year's Tour, and also for plasticizers on the previous day, which are said to be a possible indicator of blood transfusions, which are not allowed. He has consistently proclaimed his innocence and indicated that he might retire if given any sort of suspension.